Friday, February 20, 2015

Colorado's Solution

In this post I explained how the old guard of the Colorado GoP has been much more concerned with preserving its own power than with winning elections or helping gunowners. Here I'll try to explain what the Colorado GoP could do to repeal the gunowner control laws passed in 2013 (and before) if they were serious about protecting the Right to arms.

What they could do, if they were serious, is to put the brakes on everything. A legislative blockade, if you will.

The Colorado senate requires a quorum of 18. The republicans have 18 seats out of 35.

What they should do is have at least 1 republican on the capital steps every day to talk to the press. The message should be very simple and explain the strategy:

"In 2013 the Colorado legislator listened to a petty tyrant wanna-be named Micheal Bloomberg instead of the people of this state. They passed laws which not only imposed upon the Rights of Coloradans but violated the state and federal constitutions respectively. In doing so they de-legitimized the government of this state and the offices that we hold. The only remedy is to repeal any and all laws that question a person's Rights and usurp power from the citizens. We have today voted upon and passed out of the senate a bill which restores the Rights of Coloradans by repealing all laws that interfere with those Rights. Until the house passes a repeal of all prior restraint gunowner control laws and the governor signs it we will not vote on anything else. We will not attend the capital except to reiterate our commitment to the Constitution and the Rights it enumerates. There will be no quorum in the senate and no work will be done until this government once again abides by the Constitution. Our house members will be standing by to vote in committee and on the house floor to pass such a measure, but they will not vote on anything else until such a measure is passed. We'll have someone here at this time each day until this Constitutional crisis is resolved. In the meantime we urge the citizens of Colorado to contact their congressperson and the governor and demand they repeal these laws that infringe upon your Rights and breech our Constitutions. Thank you."

That would be effective, and it'd damn skippy make the evening news. That would not rely on the republicans winning back the house. It would not work right away, but it would work eventually. It wouldn't matter much whether it was the same person or not, though perhaps a rotation would be better - but the republicans should have at least 1 person on the capital steps, rain or shine, to repeat that message above verbatim every. single. day.

The press wouldn't be our friend, but we could use them all the same, as they'd be hard pressed to not cover this. And that's where its strength lay - it would send a message to the people of this state that the republicans are willing to take a lot of heat to protect their Rights and the Constitution. If one thinks that the average person or the "low information voter" would be turned off you may be correct, but my estimation is that it'd gain more supporters than opponents amongst the voting populace. If the capital switchboards were flooded back in '13 by gunowners and gunowner supporters, I imagine they'd completely melt down the day after such an announcement.

(I'll be honest - though I'm confident that this strategy if followed through in earnest and entirety would be successful, I'd almost want it done just to see the anti's heads explode. And to hopefully have the NSA leak a recording of the feverish phone call Hickenlooper would make to his boss that starts off with "Mr. Bloomberg - what do we do now??!!??!?!?")

The dems and other assorted Bloombergarians would howl and protest. They'd gain a lot of sympathy amongst progressives in the mainstream media. Old guard republicans and RINO's (but I repeat myself) from across the nation would not be approving. But a lot of Coloradans, indeed a lot of Americans would have some respect for the Colorado republicans who actually took a stand. It'd be a divisive move, but that's not a negative condition in this case. The Colorado republicans would benefit - if they stuck to their guns - by not only gaining new fans but by giving their base the motivation to not only make it to the polls, but encourage their pals and neighbors to do the same. But they have to see it through until the end no matter how long it takes.

After the first week - and it'd take several weeks, perhaps several months - I'd up the pressure by appending the message above as follows:

"A constitution is a social contract. It vests certain powers with a government, those powers being derived from an individuals' Rights and Freedoms. Just as with any contract, when one party is in breech the other party is no longer obligated to abide by the terms. Therefore until such laws are repealed that question a person's Rights I do not see how the state can legitimately ask for money from its' citizens. I'd tell my employers to stop state withholding on my paycheck, and merchants to stop collecting Colorado's sales taxes, until such a time as the government starts respecting its part of the social contract that is our Constitution. Thank you"

Again there'd be much protest from the establishment types of both parties across the nation. And in other states, part of that protest would be fueled by sheer terror. The thought "But what if that happens here" would keep more statists up all night than a viagra-laced espresso. The press would be helpful in decrying the "extremist" position, and the obvious rebuke would be to ask any reporter if they wouldn't want their party to do the same if Freedom of the Press were imposed upon. (The NSA would likely have giggle fits listening to the staff rooms of the NY Times and Huffpo over that one.)

The state constitution requires a budget be passed. When that is brought up (and it will be) the effective counter would be to cite Colorado's Constitution's Article II, Bill of Rights, Section 13:

"Right to bear arms. The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

A background check for any and all transfers is quintessentially a questioning of the Right to own and carry weapons. Magazine capacity limitations also question that Right. It is hypocritical of our colleagues to deny that one part of the Constitution limits their actions while insisting another part of the Constitution demands ours. Either the Constitution - the entire Constitution - is in effect or none of it is. The republicans in the senate and the house will be more than happy to fulfill our Constitutional obligations once this legislature fulfills its obligations by repealing laws which our Constitution forbids us from passing. Until that time, as long as there are laws on the books that impose upon a persons Right to own and carry weapons, then the Constitution has been disregarded and we will not aid the pretense that this government has any lawful authority. Thank you."

There are a few other things, but that's the gist of the plan. 

Eventually the dems would cave. Without a budget the teachers unions would not have members that had a paycheck to withhold dues from, and that pressure alone would cause the democrats to vote for a repeal. How long it would take is a good question, and one that I do not have an answer to. I do not think it'd take more than several months, but the republicans should be prepared to ride it out into 2016 if necessary.

I can see Hickenlooper or the dems in the legislature trying to get around this legislative blockade somehow, but I don't see how they could without flagrantly violating laws and Constitutional provisions. That wouldn't be a deterrent - they'd claim it's merely an "emergency measure" or some such and try to blame the republicans, but just about any action they could take would make them seem like the petty tyrants they are, and cause more popular support for the republicans' position. I do wonder if they'd be stupid enough to try to arrest the republicans involved, or forcibly make them walk into the senate? One can only hope.

Eventually the democrats would vote for a repeal. The hardcore amongst them would vote against it, but in the house it'd only take 2 dems voting with the republicans to pass an inclusive repeal bill. They shouldn't have any trouble finding 2 dems in contested districts where gunowners vote. Hickenlooper would just have to hold his nose and sign it. They'd tell themselves in 2016 they'd win in a landslide and undo what they've just undone.

In 2016 I am fairly confident that the republicans outside of Denver proper and Boulder proper would win in a landslide (except in 2 democrat house races, which they probably shouldn't even contest) if they did what I advocate and take a stand against these gunowner control laws.   

It won't happen though. The state GoP lacks the foresight to agree to such a plan, or the principles upon which to make the attempt. Hell, they just lack the spine it'd take. They'd claim such a measure would turn the public against them; that they'd be seen as extremists and it'd cost them in the next election. 

They'd be wrong of course, but those would be the guns they'd stick to. Even if they thought they could pull off something like I described they wouldn't, because they lack conviction. This would help us gunowners, and the citizens of the state, but they couldn't see how it'd help them. The old guard of the GoP would be weakened by such a maneuver no matter how positively it turned out for republicans and gunowners.  And they're just not that into gunowners to begin with.

In other words, if we rely on the state GoP we're doomed.

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